Bilde av bygningsfasade. Foto: Oe Tolstad.
Centre for Real Estate and Facilities Management

 

Metamorphosis - Centre for Real Estate and Facilities Management is a working and meeting place for teaching and research in this field. The centre is part of the Faculty of Architecture and Fine Arts, and collaborates with the Department of Civil and Transport Engineering, and SINTEF.

 


News


The Unmanned Switch – Green Leasing and the Human Factor

Illustration: istockimg.com

What is green leases, and how can they be utilized for reducing energy-use in non-residential building stock? Our phd-candidate Dave Collins have some answers for your questions.

The Unmanned Switch – Green Leasing and the Human Factor

Illustration: istockimg.com

What is green leases, and how can they be utilized for reducing energy-use in non-residential building stock? Our phd-candidate Dave Collins have some answers for your questions.

The Human Factor

To use the metaphor of sustainable buildings as battlefield, the technologies that go into making it as such would be the artillery, and the people that use buildings are clearly the soldiers at the frontline. Technology (the artillery if you will) is designed to fulfil a specific purpose. An air conditioning will control the climate, a sensor may turn the light off if nobody is home, and double glazing will stop excess heat from escaping. As long as the technology is well designed and diligently maintained, it can be a fairly dependable component in the arsenal of sustainability. However, can the same be said of the soldier at the frontline?  Can our typical building user be an equally as reliable part of the bigger picture? The answer is complex and ultimately very difficult to answer.

Photo: Dave CollinsIf you were to get 100 office workers into a room and ask them to raise their hands if they leave on their office light, computer or other high consumption electronics when they leave for the day, the number would be undoubtedly staggering. This sort of behaviour is especially important to consider when it is revealed that lighting and computers represent the two highest energy consuming elements found in offices.

You might be thinking, why does this matter? Let us continue to think of energy consumption for a moment. If you imagine a computer is left on 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, and user of that building works a typical office work pattern (8 hours a day, 5 days a  week),  then 75% of the energy usage of that computer occurs when it is NOT being used. Energy costs every business money, and the poor usage of electrical devices represent another form of easily avoidable waste for businesses, a point of particular importance in difficult economic times in both Norway and across the globe. And this is even without mentioning the importance of sustainability on company brands, the demands of regulation or the compulsory requirements of sustainable building certifications such as BREEAM.

The reasons for the unpredictability of building users are numerous and could warrant an article (and certainly a PhD thesis) to answer adequately. That being said, the short version does provide food for thought. A lack of training is a significant reason for poor energy management in offices, and there is still a significant deficit in this regard that is preventing many buildings from reaching their full potential. Unsurprisingly, and no less crucially, attitude is a key player in terms of how people treat their devices. Ignorance of the consequences is a factor we would all recognise, but the cursory look at any major Norwegian office will tell you that the plethora of recycle bins and other such schemes are evidence enough that businesses and individuals are taking this issue more seriously in recent years.

 A key barrier from the perspective of attitude, is the difference in how people treat their office compared to how they treat their own home. People rarely leave for work with their lights and their Playstation left on at home. This is because there is clear incentive, the person who owns that home pays the electricity bill. In the workplace this sort of incentive is absent, and thus encouraging unsustainable behaviour. An approach to turning the light switch off that reflects what they would do at home would be considered a welcomed move in the right direction for sustainable development in buildings and prevent easily avoidable energy waste.

Enter – The Green Lease

Despite the misanthropic tone of the previous paragraph, there is not only hope for this to be improved, but  also successful attempts at doing so. Better training, ‘turn everything off’ policies in offices and even gamification have all seen encouraging results in reducing  waste and energy consumption  in offices. There is however another emerging idea that has only seen light in the last decade, that of a Green Lease.

The Better Buildings Partnership, a British organisation of building owners working together to improve the sustainability of their building stock, consider such a lease as a “standard form lease with additional clauses included which provide for the management and improvement of the Environmental Performance of a building by both owner and occupier(s). Such a document is legally binding and its provisions remain in place for the duration of the term”. In short, a Green Lease is a lease where you don’t just pay your rent like a regular lease, but the tenant also has demands on them to use the building in a sustainable manner. These requirements can range from the mild (turning off the lights, recycling plastics) to the Draconian (specialised requirements for equipment procurement, restrictions on how many kilowatt hours of power a building can use). Some building owners even approach this from the perspective of inviting their tenant to co-invest in the buildings sustainable infrastructure, and then sharing the savings.

Whilst it is too early to effectively establish how successful this sort of arrangement can be, some Green Leasing arrangements have posted encouraging results. The American property investment company Jones Lang LaSalle have begun employing Green Leasing arrangements in their property portfolio, seeing 3%-13% savings when looking at their short term utility spend alone, and even claim that this was achieved through what they call “easy to implement sustainable measures”. Whilst not all examples will see such profitable returns, figures such as this can provide the groundwork for a business case for greener leases that could see them experience a wider implementation in coming years.

This type of approach however does not signal the definitive method that will solve the human factor in sustainable offices buildings in their entirety, but rather offers one possible solution, or even one that could work in tandem with other approaches such as building automation. Nothing however beats the simple turning off of a lightswitch.

Whilst my research project for my PhD is on Green Leases, this is only one example of the plethora of other research, teaching and Master projects that the Centre for Real Estate and Facilities Management at NTNU is doing into how improve the sustainability of new and existing building stock. Together we are developing not just cutting edge research into non-residential buildings, but also providing the skills to allow our students to make their mark on this exciting and dynamic industry.


Awards for Metamorphosis av WBC16

Photo: Marit Støre Valen

On of our teachers, Marit Støre-Valen, was the main author of "Best paper" at CIB's World Building Congress 2016 in Tampere, Finland. This paper was co-written with another of our teachers Margrethe Foss (Multiconsult) and Knut Boge from HiOA.

Awards for Metamorphosis av WBC16

Photo: Marit Støre Valen

On of our teachers, Marit Støre-Valen, was the main author of "Best paper" at CIB's World Building Congress 2016 in Tampere, Finland. This paper was co-written with another of our teachers Margrethe Foss (Multiconsult) and Knut Boge from HiOA.

"Contradictions of interests in early phase of real estate projects – What adds value for owners and users?" was one of over 400 submitted papers, meaning that the competition was substantial. The paper was written as part of the "OSCAR- value for users and owners of buildings"- project. The article is available here.

The award for best reviewer was handed to prof. Tore Haugen, while David Collins was handed an informal award from CIB for being the most positive congress participant.

Photo: Antje Junghans


What do we know about cleaning in local authorities?

Photo: Nora Johanne Klungseth

The existing knowledge base on cleaning is predominantly old and relatively limited. The doctoral dissertation “Cleaning services in Local Authorities” does in part correct this, but considering that cleaning services represent one of the most cost- and labour-intensive services in facility management, it is important and right to continue researching cleaning - both nationally and internationally.

Nora Johanne Klungseth, NTNU.

What do we know about cleaning in local authorities?

Photo: Nora Johanne Klungseth

The existing knowledge base on cleaning is predominantly old and relatively limited. The doctoral dissertation “Cleaning services in Local Authorities” does in part correct this, but considering that cleaning services represent one of the most cost- and labour-intensive services in facility management, it is important and right to continue researching cleaning - both nationally and internationally.

The PhD dissertation examines cleaning services’ organisation and practice in local authorities since the 1800’s until the present. The focus is on the Norwegian local authorities’ second tier, the municipalities, and includes knowledge from times prior to the formal establishment of local authorities in Norway. Additionally, the research includes empirical experiences from the United Kingdom (UK), as well as knowledge from international research. The chief conclusion is that cleaning services in local authorities, both in Norway and in the UK, are labour-intensive, manual services which are predominantly organised in-house.

 

Purpose, financing and research design

The research was structured according to a threefold strategy and consisted of a thorough literature study, a national survey and two case studies. The dissertation was a response to the need for new knowledge on public facility management (FM), and aimed to describe and explore cleaning in order to provide new knowledge which may contribute to develop and improve facility management in local authorities. The research was part of a larger research project at NTNU’s Centre for Real Estate and Facilities Management focusing on public facility management. This research project was funded by the Ministry of Local Government and Regional Development (KRD).

Historical insight

The work began with a thorough review of the available research on cleaning in a Norwegian context. The review shows the evolution of cleaning as a public service from the time before there was any public sector or public buildings in Norway, until today. The research Norway has conducted on cleaning since the 1800s seems to have followed the general development in research, policy and management theories. Before Norwegian local authorities had any buildings, cleaning was considered a responsibility of the housewives, but as local authorities began to construct buildings, cleaning slowly evolved into a profession. In the 1960’s technical departments were established in the municipalities and since the 1980’s and 1990’s, cleaning usually became included in these departments. That meant that cleaning slowly moved away from (mainly) being the responsibility of principals and managers of nursing homes to being the responsibility of the municipalities’ facility management departments. Cleaning also eventually became both daytime work and full-time work. That meant that it was possible for cleaners to have a "normal" life, being at home when everyone else was at home and to live on one’s own, without the necessity to rely on a spouse having a decent income for two or more. What's more, cleaning acquired educational opportunities, as a certificate of apprenticeship, and official standards which could describe cleaning quality. Gradually, public competitive tendering, and questions of how municipalities could become competitive, became part of the agenda.

 

Municipalities prefer centralised departments
The second step of the research was the dispatch of a national survey, where all Norwegian municipalities were asked about their use of organisational models for cleaning and facility management. This means, whether they used a department model, inter-municipal cooperation, a public limited company or bought services from the private sector. They were also asked what changes they had planned for their organisation.

The result shows that the municipalities prefer a fully centralised department model and that their future organisational model in most cases probably is going to be public. This, however, can be supplemented by the purchase of cleaning services from private providers. Generally, private providers are rarely used in Norway, and when they are used, they are used more often used by municipalities’ facility management organisation than their cleaning organisation.

Norwegian municipalities’ plans for changes in organisational models indicate a movement towards more decentralised and market-inspired models in the future. The survey also shows that changes in organisational models  can as much be linked to tactical-operational activities as to strategic choices. That is, when Norwegian municipalities report that they are planning changes in their organisation, this does not necessarily display a desire to switch from a department model to a municipal enterprise. A desire for change in their own organisation may be a desire to hire a cleaning manager or establishing cleaning teams.


What it is like inside local authorities
The last step of the research included two descriptive case studies. These studies are considered as examples of how cleaning can be organised and practiced, and provides insight into how the cleaning is actually managed and practiced in local authorities. The first case comes from Norway, which is known for its focus on the public sector. The second case has come from the UK, who is ranked highest among OECD countries in terms of public spending on services by private providers.

Both of these local authorities did most of their cleaning themselves. The Norwegian case study did a 100% of their cleaning themselves, while the UK-case did 75% by their own. This way, the case studies show that there are differences between local authorities. These differences can be traced back to the fact that the cases are from two different organisations, while it may also be the result of cultural differences. For example, in Norway it is voluntary to participate in public procurement processes, while the local authorities in the UK are obliged to expose parts of their service provision to competition. However, this difference does not affect the main choices in terms of an organisational model. Both countries seem to prefer to retain their cleaning services in-house. This difference in relation to voluntary or compulsory competition, however, appears to affect what is happening inside organisations to some extent.

The Norwegian case study had less of a strategic focus, but had instead a much greater focus on the practical aspects, such as more use of up-to-date technology, focusing on educating cleaners and collaborating with each individual building user. In the Norwegian case study, the service supervisors were responsible for 25 to 30 cleaners and had closer contact with its cleaners than in the UK case. The case local authority from the UK had a clear strategic focus and was less concerned with the practical details. For example, the actual "cleaning technique" from the UK could resemble what is described in Norwegian research from the 1980’s. Another difference was service supervisors’ responsibilities. In UK, one service supervisor could be responsible for 150 cleaners and aim to see each cleaner once every three months.

Want to know more? Then, download Nora Johanne Klungseth’s dissertation here: http://hdl.handle.net/11250/2364934

 


Public defence on local authority cleaning, Nora Johanne Klungseth

Photo: Anne Bruland

Public defence on local authority cleaning, Nora Johanne Klungseth

Photo: Anne Bruland

On the subject, "Cleaning services in local authorities", Nora Johanne Klungseth looked into one of the greatest expenses of buildings life cycle costs. Cleaning represent up to 50 % of buildings operational costs. This is in many cases more than the cost for energy, but cleaning as a topic has received far less attention than energy. It is therefore correct and important to research cleaning. 

In the PhD dissertations Nora looks into how cleaning services in local authorities are organised and practiced, providing examples from Norway and the United Kingdom. Cleaning services in local authorities, both in Norway and in the United Kingdom, are labour intensive, manual services that predominantly are organised in-house. As a background, focusing on the last 200 years, she mapped all Norwegian cleaning research.  

The public defences took place on Wednesday 28th October 2015. Main supervisor for the dissertation was Siri H. Blakstad, Reinertsen/NTNU, and co-supervisor has been Nils Olsson, NTNU. The opponents were Suvi Nenonen, professor, Tampere University of Technoloy, Finland, Keith Alexander, Adjunct professor, University of Applied Sciences, Zurich, and Tore B. Haugen, professor, NTNU. A candidate to a PhD-degree should prior to the public defence give a trial lecture, and Nora was assigned the topic: "Cleaning -an FM-service to improve usability". Both the trial lecture and the public defence itself received plentiful and admirable feedback from both opponents and audience. 

Nora is not anyone. She was a student in the first class which received a bachelor degree in facility management, and in the first class at NTNU receiving a master degree in facility management. She is now the first student from these study programmes receiving a PhD.   Additionally, she has moved upward from a certificate of apprenticeship as cleaner to a PhD on the same topic.

We congratulate Nora with her PhD.

Photo: Anne Bruland


First gathering for new class

Monday the 24th of August we had the great pleasure of welcoming a new class for our experience-based master program in Real Estate development and management. We see that this class has a wide...

First gathering for new class

Photo: Anne BrulandMonday the 24th of August we had the great pleasure of welcoming a new class for our experience-based master program in Real Estate development and management. We see that this class has a wide range of both ongoing work and previous education. This creates a good environment for interesting discussions and exchange of experiences between students and lecturers.

The group started up with a refreshment of study techniques and basic tips for writing scientific papers. They have also got an introduction of the different classes and lecturers. The second part of this gathering is about facilities management with teacher Margrethe Foss, and guest lecturers from Prof Antje Junghans, Olav-Egil Sæbøe from Pro-FM, Erick Beltran from Statoil, Helge Rohn from Reinertsen and Svein Erik Nordbotten from EC Dahls Eiendom.

The group has also been gathered for an introductory dinner at Dokkhuset, where they were given the opportunity to familiarize themselves with both fellow students and the staff.

Next gathering for the group will be at Forsvarsbygg in Oslo on the 22nd of September.


Student Works

Urbanisation in China

Illustrasjon byutvikling.

In course AAR2540, Metamorphosis has architecture students looking at opportunities for affordable and temporary buildings for new residents in the rapidly growing Chinese cities. Click here to see the presentation of the course.


The student association Hippodamus

The student association Hippodamus organises academic and social activities for the fulltime students in the masterprograms "Real estate and facilities management" and "Physical Planning". Read more on the association's website.